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  #26  
Old February 5th, 2008, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
Which ones are those, Mel?
Nominee for song of the year.

Hey There Delilah - by Plain White T's - released on CD January 25, 2005.

Hey There Delilah - by Plain White T's
single release - May 9, 2006.

It seems like this song was just under the radar for 2 years before it became a hit last year. The iTunes track of the single says Copyright 2005 Fearless Records.

So what if the track was re-released on another record label in 2007? It is still the same song. The hit, everyone knows it. Someone at Hollywood Records probably pulled strings on this one.

----------------------

Nominee Best New Artist

Feist? - hmmm... she's been around at least since 2004. I bought a single by her called "One Evening" that year. Sure she is big stuff in 2007 with her hit "1 2 3 4"..... but still... a new artist?

----------------------

Nominee: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

U2 - "Windows in the Skies" - released November 21, 2006
So I guess late 2006 albums count?

If that is so, late 2007 releases should count in this thread. We will be following industry practice.


----------------------


Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

Gwen Stefani with Akon - "The Sweet Escape"
Released on CD Dec. 5, 2006.



Certainly older songs being nominated for the 2007 year are not that plentiful but it has occurred. Supposedly they get around this through technicalities such as late release dates for the previous year, or late blooming hits as in the case of Plain White T's and Feist.

Still the bottom line is not all of the songs or artists (that I know of at least) have music specifically released in that year unless re-releases or late popularity figures in.
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  #27  
Old February 5th, 2008, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

You're welcome to discuss anything you consider a current release, of course, but I try to stick to the calendar year. Radiohead's album may have been released in late 2007, but it was early enough to be mentioned in Rolling Stone's year-end review, and the deadline for that was somewhere in November, I think. I treat re-releases the way the magazines do, as an entirel different category. Otherwise, some terrific Ryko reissue of a 1980 Elvis Costello album could win record of the year, which wouldn't be right.

I recently purchased (because I thought it was new! grrrr!) an album by Ingrid Michaelson, a purchase I might otherwise have made, but definitely not as eagerly if I'd known that it was really a 2006 release. Honestly, I am at times motivated by an album's currency when I make my purchases. This is why I haven't purchased the Plain White Ts album, despite it's positive buzz. It won't qualify for my year-end list and I sorta set aside a certain amount every month to spend on new stuff and a certain amount to spend on stuff I'm still catching up on, and now that it's in the catching-up-on column, it's WAY down the list!

So back to 2008: In my English class every day, I play a song of the day and get students' feedback. My song of the day today was Ringo's "Liverpool 8," and it received thumbs-up all around the room. That's a first this calendar year.
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  #28  
Old February 5th, 2008, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

The current Radiohead album was offered as a free download from the band's website in November as an experiment. However the official commercial release occurred Dec. 28 as previously stated. If this album is as good as some say, I can only bet that it will garner awards for next year's Grammys or AMAs as a 2008 release. Any singles that may chart this calendar year off the album will also be counted as 2008 releases... just like Plain White T's are being counted as a 2007 release. Industry practice.
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  #29  
Old February 5th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

So here we have iTunes freebie of the week, a power-pop single called "Check Yes Juliet" by a band from Florida named We the Kings. Their debut album came out in Oct. 2007 according to the iTunes website. Until today I never heard of them until I downloaded the free single of the week which according to iTunes was released on Feb. 4, 2008.

I like power pop rock. Added this track to my current favorites playlist.

BTW, anyone know how to grab the URL of an iTunes Store song link?
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  #30  
Old February 5th, 2008, 03:50 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
Nominee for song of the year.
Hey There Delilah - by Plain White T's - released on CD January 25, 2005.
Hey There Delilah - by Plain White T's single release - May 9, 2006.

It seems like this song was just under the radar for 2 years before it became a hit last year. The iTunes track of the single says Copyright 2005 Fearless Records. So what if the track was re-released on another record label in 2007? It is still the same song. The hit, everyone knows it. Someone at Hollywood Records probably pulled strings on this one.
If Fearless never submitted it for Grammy nomination during its initial release period, Hollywood had every right to do so, once it became their release. For all we know, the deal to transfer the license could have included the stipulation that Fearless not submit it, as one of the many conditions of their purchase - that's not an uncommon practice.
----------------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
Nominee Best New Artist
Feist? - hmmm... she's been around at least since 2004. I bought a single by her called "One Evening" that year. Sure she is big stuff in 2007 with her hit "1 2 3 4"..... but still... a new artist?
"Best New Artist" definition (from The Recording Academy, emphasis mine): For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.

Yeah, I had heard of her years ago, too, but that's because I follow the Canadian music scene to a degree. "Establishing the public identity" is a pretty vague definition.
----------------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
Nominee: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals
U2 - "Windows in the Skies" - released November 21, 2006
So I guess late 2006 albums count?
Yes. The eligibility period is 10/1/06 to 9/30/07. Same as with:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals
Gwen Stefani with Akon - "The Sweet Escape"
Released on CD Dec. 5, 2006.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
If that is so, late 2007 releases should count in this thread. We will be following industry practice.
Why? This isn't an "industry" discussion (despite my using "industry" definitions to address the points you brought up). It's scrivener's thread - so it's scrivener's definition.
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  #31  
Old February 5th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
Yeah, I had heard of her years ago, too, but that's because I follow the Canadian music scene to a degree. "Establishing the public identity" is a pretty vague definition.
Agreed. In a lot of ways, Bonnie Raitt didn't have much of a "public identity" until her Nick of Time album, but to call her a "new artist" at that stage of her career would have been laughable.

Quote:
It's scrivener's thread - so it's scrivener's definition.
Well, it's a community forum. So yeah. I'm cool with any music that's generating discussion, I guess, but I was shooting for currency here.
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  #32  
Old February 5th, 2008, 06:41 PM
johmbolaya johmbolaya is offline
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Talking Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

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Originally Posted by alohabear View Post
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  #33  
Old February 6th, 2008, 12:53 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
If Fearless never submitted it for Grammy nomination during its initial release period, Hollywood had every right to do so, once it became their release.
It is still inescapable that no matter what label the song appeared on, it is a 2005 release. Period. Hey, maybe the company that issues those "Now" compilations can also submit tracks for Grammy's. So "Hey There Delilah" would have 2 albums on which it could claim a 2007 release... but still in the end, it is originally and will always be a 2005 release. The numbers don't lie. Amazon.com and iTunes bare that out.

----------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
"Best New Artist" definition (from The Recording Academy, emphasis mine): For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.

Yeah, I had heard of her years ago, too, but that's because I follow the Canadian music scene to a degree. "Establishing the public identity" is a pretty vague definition.
Even you agree that the "new artist" nomination for Feist is flawed. She actually was around and many people including you and I were aware of her before she became "new" in 2007.

Maybe we ought keep an eye out on Colbie Caillat. iTunes gave away her debut single "Bubbly" for FREE on July 16, 2007. Radio was kind of slow to catch on to her, but now every AC station in town plays that song... I wonder if her album "Coco" which was released in July 17, 2007 will get a nomination for NEXT year now that the public is "aware" of her. Will she be a 2008 new artist nominee?

In answer to my own question about Colbie, probably not on all counts, but I would laugh if she got a 2008 nomination for anything she released last year.

----------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
Yes. The eligibility period is 10/1/06 to 9/30/07. Same as with:
Why? This isn't an "industry" discussion (despite my using "industry" definitions to address the points you brought up). It's scrivener's thread - so it's scrivener's definition.
Proves my point. In my initial point to this part of the thread regarding Grammys, I said "If you look at the Grammy Awards, some of the music being honored for this year actually came out in 2005 or 2006." I did not add any qualifiers as you did above. I am correct. The albums were released in a window that came in the calendar year 2006.

So I can expect, if the academy so decides, that something like Radiohead's December 28, 2007 release may be a nominee for 2008.
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  #34  
Old February 6th, 2008, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

A few thoughts on recent pickups.

I've now listened to the Cat Power album five times through. Parts of it have gotten better after repeated listens, most surprisingly her cover of Dylan's "I Believe in You," which on first listen was my least favorite track on the album, it being my favorite Dylan song. Now I like it a great deal; it has a sorta of driving rhythm that works a lot better than I first thought. Before I really decide how I feel about the album, I can tell I'm going to need another five listens. That by itself says a lot, I think: albums that take time to grow on me often end up being favorites.

The Ringo Starr album is good. It's a solid album, with a few different musical styles thrown in that I wasn't expecting, including gospel and latin themes. When Ringo gets as many takes as he needs, he's a passable singer capable of at least a couple of nuances, which I realize is a backhanded compliment, but there you go. When I earlier called it a self-indulgence, I didn't mean it as something positive, but I've been thinking. Ringo's got no reason to release an album except that he wants to. Now when I hear it, it sounds to me like a career-capper, and I kinda like that. If this is how Ringo goes out, it's a good sendoff.

A good pickup has been Black Mountain's In the Future. You know Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold," with that sorta hypnotic, sweaty rhythm? Imagine that with some tasty Deep-Purple-type keyboards and then sprinkle in a little bit of spaciness, like what you might hear on Dark Side of the Moon if the Scorpions played it. It's kinda like that. I've only given it one and a half listens, but I must say I'm strangely impressed. I almost can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning so I can hear it again (too close to bedtime for music right now -- if it's too interesting I'll never go to bed). I like what Billboard printed about this album: "It's this mix of the loud and the trippy that Black Mountain specializes in, and In the Future sees the band striving for epic proportions." Check out the other favorable reviews at metacritic.

I've been less impressed with Ida's Lovers Prayers. It looks on the surface like exactly the kind of thing I normally go for, but there's something a little to Garden Statey about it, if that makes sense. Folk music is emo enough as it is, but this sounds kinda like you should be listening to it while watching Natalie Portman stand out in the rain or something. I've given it four listens so far, and it has genuinely sparked my interest in moments, so I'm reserving judgment until I've heard it a few more times.
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Last edited by scrivener; February 6th, 2008 at 04:16 AM. Reason: "I've seen your face a thousand times every day we've been apart..."
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  #35  
Old February 6th, 2008, 03:47 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
It is still inescapable that no matter what label the song appeared on, it is a 2005 release. Period.
You are absolutely correct. I didn't say you weren't - just tried to explain how it can happen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
Even you agree that the "new artist" nomination for Feist is flawed.
Not just her nomination, but the whole category; it's one of the more vague ones in the whole pot. Oddly enough, it's commonly joked that winning this particular award is the "kiss of death" for a musician's career, as some past winners vanish into obscurity, but many more past winners go on to a successful career.
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So I can expect, if the academy so decides, that something like Radiohead's December 28, 2007 release may be a nominee for 2008.
Correct once again - the eligibility period will be 10/1/07 - 9/30/08, so it can be submitted for consideration for the Grammy Awards that will be presented in February 2009. While it would be technically incorrect to then call those "the 2008 Grammy Awards," it will still be commonly done. The Recording Academy will officially refer to them as "the 51st Annual Grammy Awards."
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  #36  
Old February 6th, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

I gotta say, I was real impressed with local artist Rob Yamanoha's cd "Better". I just saw his video Waialua Skies on youtube.
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  #37  
Old February 6th, 2008, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
Not just her nomination, but the whole category; it's one of the more vague ones in the whole pot. Oddly enough, it's commonly joked that winning this particular award is the "kiss of death" for a musician's career, as some past winners vanish into obscurity, but many more past winners go on to a successful career.
I agree.... some were successful, others not -- Christopher Cross, Marc Cohn, Debby Boone.... This link has them all listed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
While it would be technically incorrect to then call those "the 2008 Grammy Awards," it will still be commonly done. The Recording Academy will officially refer to them as "the 51st Annual Grammy Awards."
I agree.
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  #38  
Old February 7th, 2008, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Hmmmmm...maybe this is considered 2007, but the new Eagles cd is great, true to form Eagles stuff. Saw them in concert in November and just had to get the new cd. Ok...getting off the path, but if you have a chance to see Van Halen, Eddie ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!! Met Shimon from the Sick Puppies this week. Have you seen/heard about their Hugs campaign? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr3x_RRJdd4 Yeah, picked up their new cd Dressed Up As Life. They're up and coming. Recently opened for Evanescence.

Keyshia Cole's cd is probably my next purchase. Going to her post Grammy Party on Sunday.
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  #39  
Old February 12th, 2008, 10:02 AM
NemesisVex NemesisVex is offline
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

I don't usually start paying attention to the release schedule of any year till about late February or early March. December is when most of the labels concentrate on holiday promotions, so releases tend to be sparse. Not much really happens in January either.

That said, I've found the start of this year surprisingly packed. What I've bought ...
  • The Magnetic Fields, Distortion Stephin Merritt said he wanted to be more Jesus and Mary Chain than the Jesus and Mary Chain with this album.
  • hey willpower, P.D.A. What happens when the guitarist for indie rock band Imperial Teen (Will Schwartz) indulges his love for commercial radio pop.
  • Bob Mould, District Line Not as strong as 2005's Body of Song, but it still covers the same ground.
  • Kronos Quartet and Wu Man, Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic Commissioned for Riley's 70th birthday, The Cusp of Magic finds Kronos Quartet joined by pipa player Wu Man and supplemented with an arsenal of children's toys.
  • Chris Walla, Field Manual Solo debut from Death Cab for Cutie guitarist. There's no question why Ben Gibbard is the lead singer of the group.

(The next few releases are from Japan.)
  • Yorico, Negau Third album by a pop singer somewhere between Utada Hikaru and Onitsuka Chihiro.
  • Kicell, magic hour The indie return of the Tsujimaru brothers, after four albums with Victor Entertainment.
  • Oblivion Dust, Oblivion Dust Reunion album of an alt-rock band that broke up in 2002.
  • Mass of the Fermenting Dregs, Mass of the Fermenting Dregs Debut EP from a psych-rock duo, with two tracks produced by Dave Fridmann (Mercury Rev, the Flaming Lips.)

Oh, and the new Kylie Minogue album, X, hits stores today.

Last edited by NemesisVex; February 12th, 2008 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Adding one more item to the Japanese list
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  #40  
Old February 12th, 2008, 12:33 PM
Leo Lakio Leo Lakio is offline
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

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Originally Posted by NemesisVex View Post
[*]Kronos Quartet and Wu Man, Terry Riley: The Cusp of Magic Commissioned for Riley's 70th birthday, The Cusp of Magic finds Kronos Quartet joined by pipa player Wu Man and supplemented with an arsenal of children's toys.
I'm intrigued by this one, as I have a number of Riley's recordings, going back to the late 1960s. When you've had a chance to listen to it, give me a capsule review, okay? Thanks.
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  #41  
Old February 12th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Recent pickups:

Detours by Sheryl Crow
(February 5, 2008, A&M)
Yes, I acquired this legitimately.

I had a Best Buy credit burning a hole in my jeans, so I picked this up on disc this past weekend. I'm something of a Crow fan, 'though I didn't own any of her albums until now. Her fans are calling this a return to the style of her earlier albums. I don't know about that, but it's Sheryl from first track to last, so you pretty much know what to expect. Highlights for me are the title track, "Gasoline," and "Love is Free," although that last one has a weird breakdown in the middle that I find very annoying. I hope someone does a remix of this. There's a very pretty song called "Wyatt's Lullaby" that I just don't like. I don't purchase much mainstream rock nowadays, but I'm pleased with this.


The Scarecrow by Avantasia
(January 25, 2008; Nuclear Blast)

Avantasia is the symphonic, operatic metal project headed by Edguy's Tobias Sammet. I thought the earlier work was very, very good, but didn't see how Sammet could pull off anything on quite a large scale as the Metal Opera, Parts I and II. I was right: Where the Metal Opera installments had ten and eleven lead vocalists, The Scarecrow has only eight, and it sounds on first listen as if most of the contributions by guest vocalists are quite small. I know, for example, that Alice Cooper is listed as a vocalist on track 11, "Devil in the Belfry," but I can't for the life of me pick Alice's vocals out, and I love me some Alice Cooper.

EDIT: Something's wrong with my track listing, because I immediately recognized the unmistakable voice of Alice Cooper on "The Toy Maker." Go, Alice!

And while the earlier projects featured musicians of considerable prominence in the power metal scene, such as Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, Helloween), Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius), Andre Matos (Angra), and Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation) (rowr!), the new project's biggest names besides Alice Cooper are Michael Kiske (Helloween) and Roy Khan (Kamelot).

The decreased star power and the less-ambitious aspirations, though, are actually a strength here. The songs stand up better, separated from their album-mates, and the songwriting is a lot more memorable. I really, really liked The Metal Opera, but with a few exceptions, I have difficulty remembering which song is which, as the albums tend to blend together into one blurry work. Songs on The Scarecrow are more focused and much more interesting. Highlights are "I Don't Believe in Your Love" (with Magum's Bob Catley on vocals and the just-in-time-for-Valentine's lyrics, "I don't believe in your love / Don't give a f*** for roses"), and "Lost in Space" (with Amanda Somerville on sweet BGVs).

Good album.


"Cheney's Toy" by James McMurtry
(advance single, Lightning Rod)

The new McMurtry album, Just Us Kids, isn't due for release until April 15, but this single's being offered as a free download to eMusic subscribers. I've loved McMurtry since his first album, and this song would be right at home on that album. Yes, his dad is James McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove. It's a good song. Sample lyrics: "You're the man / show 'em what you're made of / You're no longer daddy's boy / You're the man / they're all afraid of / But you're only Cheney's toy."
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Last edited by scrivener; February 12th, 2008 at 01:51 PM. Reason: "Here am I, sitting in a tin can..."
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  #42  
Old February 24th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

New 2008 release CDs I bought since my last post:

Detours - Sheryl Crow - another typical Crow album with some pretty good songs. So far I like "Gasoline," "Love is Free" and the title track. Was $9.99 @ BestBuy

Sleep Through the Static - Jack Johnson: OK album, kind of more of the same from this guy and his guitar. I haven't really "listened" to this one all the way through except for falling asleep one night when I had it on my iTunes. I like the single track which I bought earlier, "If I Had Eyes." Was $9.99@ BestBuy

Liverpool 8 - Ringo Starr: This guy sounds like he had fun making this record. The songs are light and easy to listen to. I like the title track which I had earlier bought on MP3 from Amazon. $9.72 @ WalMart.

New single tracks I bought:

"Supernatural Superserious" - great new R.E.M. song in the best of their guitar driven tradition. The single is 89¢ with no DRM at Amazon.com. From a soon to be released album.

"Say It Again" - Marie Digby - I'm a sucker for some light, top 40 radio fluff and this new song would certainly fit into any AC or soft rock format. Just came out this past Tuesday and I already played it about 4 times. DRM-free MP3 @ Amazon.com for 89¢.

"Say" - Ryan Cabrera - Another lighthead pop single. Not bad. iTunes-Plus AAC with no DRM. 99¢ + tax.

"Seven Days of Lonely" - iNine - Sounds like a good pop single from a band I never heard of. Was this past week's freebie at iTunes. Will this freebie eventually become a hit? Time will tell. I like it. Added to my iTunes Current mix along with the single tracks listed above.

New Single

The Eagles just released "Busy Being Fabulous" as their follow-up single to "How Long" from their double CD album Long Road Out of Eden. That is one of the best albums I bought last year - $11.88 well worth spending since you get 2 CDs and just about every song on it is a winner. If this album had come out in 1982 or so, singles released from it would have continued the Eagles' long streak at the top of the charts. With the market and radio what it is today, they'll be lucky to have this track chart on anything outside of say contemporary country and AC, if at all. I bought the album last year so no need to buy the single, wherever it may be available. (Not on iTunes or Amazon as a download)....

I was going to link more of these songs to YouTube, but unfortunately the YouTube site seems to be down at this time.

Some of these tracks are on my current Finetunes mix if you want to listen.

Last edited by mel; February 24th, 2008 at 02:30 PM. Reason: fix typo
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  #43  
Old March 2nd, 2008, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Here are a few of my recent 2008 pickups and initial impressions.

Backwoods Barbie by Dolly Parton
(February 26, 2008; Dolly Records)

I'm not a huge fan of country music, but Parton's bluegrass stuff this past decade has been excellent, reawakening in me my own fondness for the genre. Something about those recordings contained a sincerity I'd never before heard in Parton's music. When I heard that this new album was a return to pop country, I was marginally disappointed; however, that sincerity that won me over on her terrific cover of "Stairway to Heaven" is still there, with a little more strut and a little wink, besides. Her singing is as good as ever, especially on "Jesus & Gravity" ("I got something lifting me up / I got something holding me down"), "Backwoods Barbie" ("I'm just a backwoods Barbie / Too much makeup, too much hair / Don't be fooled by thinkin' that / The goods are not all there / Don't let these false eyelashes / Lead you to believe / That I'm as shallow as I look / 'Cause I run true and deep"), and the already-released single, "Better Get to Livin'." There are a couple of boot-stompers, a couple of feel-goods, and a couple of cry-in-your-beers ("Made of Stone" and "I Will Forever hate Roses").

She covers Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears" and Fine Young Cannibals' "Drives Me Crazy" excellently.

Top to bottom a good album. While not as resonant with me as her bluegrass recordings, this is nice, easy entertainment. I expect it to be in steady rotation in my iTunes for quite a while.




Venus on Earth by Dengue Fever
(January 22, 2008; M80 Records)

Holy cow! Howcome I've never heard of this band before? This is the band's third full-length studio album since 2003 and I don't recall ever hearing of a Los Angeles band that plays psychedelic surf music influenced by Cambodian melodies and orchestration with lyrics sung in Khmer! This is good, good stuff, the kinda stuff that makes you sit up and pay attention. Music that needs that many adjectives to describe its sound is very often not very good for a lot of reasons, but Dengue Fever's sound is terrifically unique and party authenticated by lead vocalist Chhom Nimol's obvious familiarity with Cambodian pop music (she was discovered by her bandmates while she was singing in a Cambodian band in Long Beach). What I mostly hear, instrumentally, is a kind of Friends of Dean Martinez mood in the drum, bass, and rhythm with that sorta slidey, southeast Asian sound in the melodies, keys, and lead guitar parts. The lyrics are mostly in Khmer, but there are English words on some of the songs, most interestingly on the duet, "Tiger Phone Card," which documents a long-distance love affair between lovers in New York and Phnom Penh.

I've heard some good music this year, but this is the first new stuff that actually has me excited. I will give this another ten listens and then try to get their earlier material. This is an early front-runner for my favorite album of the year. If you need somewhere to start, try "Tiger Phone Card" (listen at least through the guitar solo, if you can), "Seeing Hands," or "Clipped Wings."





Lust, Lust, Lust by the Raveonettes
(February 19, 2008; Vice Records)

I've only given this two listens so far, so the jury's still way out. I peeked at a few reviews, though, and I've got to say that what I like best about it at this early stage is what some critics dislike about it: It's noisiness. The noisiness is actually kinda cool. What I dislike is the endless drum-loops and programmed bass. I do not know if I can get over that, especially not from a band that seems to try extra hard to make one song indistinguishable from the others on any one album (every song on an early album was played in B-flat minor; every song on another album was played in B-flat major, and that really says it all). Still, bass- and drum-programming aside, there's a lot to like here. I'll update this review later, after more listens.




Watch the Sky by Patty Larkin
(January 22, 2008; Vanguard Records)

I love, love, love Patty Larkin. My reaction upon first hearing this album? "I hate, hate, hate this album!" I don't think I hate it anymore, but something about it drives me crazy. First, there are the annoying drum loops. You expect drum loops from, well, other kinds of musicians. But Larkin is a terrific songwriter with serious acoustic-guitar chops. These loops seem unnecessary and out of place.

Another annoying thing is that the vocals on every track are subdued and quiet, mixed way up front so that she's singing right in your ears. There's a time and a place for this, of course, but since the whole album is mixed this way and performed (apparently) with this kind of production in mind, it's as if Larkin finds one vocal note and just kinda lives there for the length of the album. When someone has the ability to hit sexy, quiet whispers of notes and then to move into angry, indignant notes, and from there to notes irony or humor, all with the way she sings the words, it's disappointing to hear basically one vocal mood through twelve tracks. The one exception is "Hallelujah," which doesn't exactly show off Larkin's talent, but at least manages to find a different note.

Finally, noticeably absent from this album is Larkin's considerable guitar talent. Oh, there's some very good playing here, but you can hardly notice it, since Larkin's voice is mixed way, way up and her guitars way, way back. Except for the nice, somewhat Resonator-sounding "Waterside," which closes out the album, you hardly notice that she's playing a guitar at all.

Ardent fans will get the whole album anyway (and I don't regret it at least since I want to support the artist), but casual fans would do well to preview each song before purchasing. I'd say the two songs I mention here are the strongest.

I haven't closed the book on this album, since it grows upon me with each listen, but at this stage of my fanhood, I'm not sure I can handle this kind of musical redefinition!
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Last edited by scrivener; March 2nd, 2008 at 11:14 PM. Reason: "You only call me when you're drunk ... I can tell it by your voice ..."
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  #44  
Old March 25th, 2008, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Two recent 2008 pickups.

Carlene Carter, Stronger
March 4, 2008; Yep Roc Records

As you know, Carter lost her mother, step-father, and long-time boyfriend (Howie Epstein of the Heartbreakers) within the last few years, so this album is surprisingly upbeat and positive. It has moments of wistfulness; however, the overall tone is one of playfulness and strength. I don't know a lot about country music, so I can't define the sound in intelligent terms, but most of the songs sound like what country music has always sounded like to me. While there are a couple of Shania-like tracks ("I'm So Cool"), most of this sounds like it would have been at home on the latest Dolly Parton record, which critics said was a return to straight-up country.

It's electric-guitar-driven, flavored by some banjo-picking, some steel slide-guitar, and the kind of driving beats you hear in the background in movies, when characters walk into a bar that has hay on the floor. What gets me consistently, from first track to last, is the clarity of Carter's voice. She sings so well here that the vocals are alone worth the cost of the album. There's a certain world-weariness here that I don't think I'm projecting, like here's a singer who's seen it all and yet keeps coming back for more. This comes through especially on slower songs like "Spider Lace" (the best song on the album, with slow, breathy vocals and sweet acoustic guitar highlighted by some slow steel guitar) and the title track, "Stronger."

Carter covers her own "It Takes One to Know Me," which she wrote and gave to Johnny Cash (and was also recorded by her mother). It is a slow waltz soaked with cheap beer and I'd never heard it before, but I like it a great deal.

I don't think it is destined to be a classic, but it is a very good album to these non-Country ears. I'd give "Spider Lace," "Stronger," and "It Takes One to Know Me" a listen first, 'though I suspect any one of those will tell you all you need to know about whether you want the rest of the album.


Flogging Molly, Float
March 4, 2008; SideOneDummy Records

I'm not exactly a fan of Flogging Molly, but I have always appreciated these guys. I think Gogol Bordello is a better example of what Flogging Molly's mostly about. Still, when the review for Float seemed to be unanimously calling it the band's best work ever, I thought it would be worth investigating.

It is the band's best work. Check out "Us of Lesser Gods" (my favorite song on the album), "From the Back of a Broken Dream," and "Requiem for a Dying Song." There's really not a weak song here, 'though I think my least favorite is the one track everyone else is saying might be Flogging Molly's best song ever, "Float." I can hear what everyone likes about it, but something about the lyrics drives me insane.

It's good, jumpy, accordion-flavored punky dance music. If you dig it, also check out Gogol Bordello, which is more Gypsy than Celtic, but the bands have a lot in common, musically and lyrically.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

  • The B-52's, Funplex (3/25/2008, Astralwerks) Feels kind of flat for an album with "fun" in the title.
  • Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple (3/25/2008, Downtown) Only listened to it once so far, but it left a very dark first impression.
  • Utada Hikaru, HEART STATION (3/19/2008, Foozay Music) Definitely not as good as 2006's ULTRA BLUE.
  • Leo Imai, FIX NEON (2/27/2008, Virgin Japan) Leo Imai has been described as the bastard love child of Kylie Minogue and Black Sabbath.
  • Janet Jackson, Discipline (2/26/2008, Island) Oh good, this one actually doesn't suck.
  • Elliott Carter, String Quartets Nos. 1 & 5, Pacifica Quartet (1/29/2008, Naxos) Very angular and atonal.
  • detroit7, Third Star from the Earth (1/17/2008, rudie&records) Kind of like how the Gossip mixes garage rock with dance beats.
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  #46  
Old April 19th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

not so much a "whadja get" as a "what eric gonna buy me" today at best buy:

marie (pronounced ma-ree-ay) digby's "unfold."

despite the controversy as to her authenticity as an undiscovered artist who made herself discovered via the wonders of youtube or not, to my ear, she is undeniably talented. (scriv, i would bet you would find her japanese-irish looks undeniably beautiful)

her covers of rihanna, maroon 5, and incubus all do what the best covers do - breathe a bit fresh life into a song i already like, all the while somehow causing me to enjoy the originals even more. make fun of my taste in music, but i found britney's "gimme more" completely enjoyable gyraty pop if tainted by that sloppy mtv award performance. digby's version pretty much scrubbed the taint off for me. additionally, digby's original songs (like "stupid for you" and "say it again") easily earn my pressing the "repeat" button on my cd player at work.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Yeah, Marie Digby... I bought the single off of iTunes and was going to buy the album last week since it was on sale at BestBuy for $7.99 or $9.99. What is it selling for today? I'll wait for the next sale. I sampled the 30 sec. tracks at iTunes and it sounds like something I would like.

Also thinking about getting Ana Laan; and for the old fart in me, recently got the new R.E.M. which I still have to open and the B-52's "Funplex" which just picks up from where they left off several years ago. The latter is a fun album that'd go good at a dance party if people liked that kind of music.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

She looks pretty good, though for some reason I'm not much taken by her in the photos I've seen. I am also not much impressed with her choices of covers, but then I haven't actually heard them yet. Will definitely check her out, though.

Haven't acquired much new stuff lately; the release lists looked a little uninteresting this month, so I've been filling in the holes in my 2007 purchases. However, I do have a few new things, so an update later this evening. Gotta get back to work.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mel View Post
Yeah, Marie Digby... I bought the single off of iTunes and was going to buy the album last week since it was on sale at BestBuy for $7.99 or $9.99. What is it selling for today?
$9.99...or, if you know someone who works there and is willing to buy it for you as a gift, about $6.

been listening to it at work almost constantly & i thoroughly enjoy it. not sure if i like it better than ingrid michaelson's 2007 release, girls & boys.
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superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

"when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213
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Old April 24th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: New Music 2008: Whadja Get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynsaligia View Post
not sure if i like it better than ingrid michaelson's 2007 release, girls & boys.
I have that and have given it a good half-dozen listens. Not sure how I feel about it. It definitely has its moments, but ultimately I think it's unsatisfying. Maybe if you tell me some of your favorite tracks, I'll listen differently and give it another shot.
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